Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - SATYRINI
Lymanopoda panacea ocellifera,
Manu cloudforest, 1600m, Peru ©
There are 1100 known species of Satyrinae in the neotropical region.
About 570 of these are placed in the
subtribe Pronophilina - a diverse group of high altitude cloudforest
butterflies, all of which are confined to the neotropical region.
The vast majority are found only in the Andes, but 4 species are
known from the Atlantic cloudforests of Brazil, and there are a
further 6 species that are endemic to Guatemala, Costa Rica or
Mexico. More oddly there is one genus Calisto
that is found exclusively on the Caribbean islands of Cuba and
Lymanopoda is comprised of 57 small
species. Many have small white spots arranged in a characteristic
undulating line across the wings. In some species such as
labda and lebbaea
there are beautiful marbled white markings on the underside
hindwings. The uppersides vary considerably from one species to
another - some such as pieridina and
shefteli are white with black markings;
others including samius and
caeruleata are black with extensive
areas of metallic blue; and some, e.g. venosa,
panacea are dark earthy brown
with white ocelli.
is distributed along the eastern Andes from Colombia to Peru.
This is a mid-high elevation cloudforest species, found at altitudes
between about 1200-2000m.
The lifecycle appears to be unrecorded. The following
generalisations are applicable to the subtribe Pronophilina and
probably also apply to
eggs are round, white or pale greenish white, and laid singly on the
foodplants or on surrounding vegetation. The larvae are typically
pale brown, marked along the back and sides with narrow dark
stripes, and tapering towards each end. The head is large in
proportion to the body and has two short forward-pointing horns. The
tip of the abdomen is equipped with a pair of caudal prongs which
are used to flick the frass away from the feeding area.
The larvae of all known Pronophilina feed on
Chusquea - a genus of bamboo which
grows in thickets, mainly along the courses of streams.
Males are usually seen singly, but
are not uncommon. They are usually seen in the company of
and Manerebia species, imbibing
mineral-rich moisture from road surfaces or the edges of rocky
streams. The butterflies habitually settle and feed with the head
dipped and forewings canted forward.